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I Am A

Authentic Accounts of Christian Martyrdom
and Persecution from the Ancient Sources

compiled and edited by

Anthony P. Schiavo, Jr.

About the book:

"Jesus never existed."
"The Bible is a book of fairy tales."
"Accounts of Christian persecution are fables."

Christians of today face ridiculous claims of this type on a regular basis. These charges gain traction in the modern world because the average person has practically no knowledge of the Church's ancient past. I Am A Christian: Authentic Accounts of Christian Martyrdom and Persecution from the Ancient Sources aims to remedy this deficiency.

The works collected in this book represent some of the most trustworthy first-hand accounts of the triumphs and travails of the early Church that have survived antiquity. These include several authentic transcripts of Roman legal proceedings against Christians, along with obscure but fascinating historical works that are unfamiliar to even the most informed Christians of today. In several cases, readers will be presented with the actual words of the martyrs themselves. In others, they will read accounts penned by eye-witnesses or authors writing within the living memory of the events themselves.

Taken together, these works form a glorious record of early Christian zeal and fortitude in the face of aggressive state persecution. When reading them, one notices a common refrain: when questioned, the accused would cry out: “I am a Christian,” which was the equivalent of saying, “I am guilty as charged.” In an era when such an admission carried a death sentence, these authentic testimonies provide a convincing answer to modern skeptics who will find them as baffling as did the ancient Roman emperors, proconsuls and magistrates of nearly two millennia ago.

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: The First Martyrs [1st century AD]
Chapter 2: The Passion of Saint Ignatius of Antioch [2nd century AD]
Chapter 3: The Passion of Saint Polycarp [2nd century AD]
Chapter 4: The Passion of Saint Justin Martyr [2nd century AD]
Chapter 5: The Apology and Acts of Apollonius [2nd century AD]
Chapter 6: The Scillitan Martyrs [2nd century AD]
Chapter 7: The Passion of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas [3rd century AD]
Chapter 8: Saints Potamiena, Basilides and the Pupils of Origen who Became Martyrs [3rd century AD]
Chapter 9: The Martyrs of Alexandria [3rd century AD]
Chapter 10: The Passion of Saint Saturninus, Bishop of Toulouse [3rd century AD]
Chapter 11: The Martyrdom of Saint Cyprian of Carthage [3rd century AD]
Chapter 12: The Passion of Saint Lawrence [3rd century AD]
Chapter 13: The Passion of Saint Fructuosus of Tarragon and Companions [3rd century AD]
Chapter 14: Passion of Saints Chionia, Agape, and Irene who Hid the Scriptures [4th century AD]
Chapter 15: “Traditores” and the Burning of Christian Books [4th century AD]
Chapter 16: The Martyrs of Abitina [4th century AD]
Chapter 17: The Martyrdom of Saint Crispina [4th century AD]
Chapter 18: The Martyrdom of Saint Agnes of Rome [4th century AD]
Chapter 19: The Martyrdom Poems of Prudentius [4th century AD]
Chapter 20: The Martyrs of Persia during the Reign of King Sapor II [4th century AD]
Chapter 21: Martyrs during the Reign of Julian the Apostate [4th century AD]

Appendix A: The Epitaphs of Pope Saint Damasus [4th century AD]
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216 pages ~ paperback
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